cover image Wedding Zen: Calming Wisdom for the Bride

Wedding Zen: Calming Wisdom for the Bride

Susan Elia MacNeal. Chronicle Books, $9.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-4415-4

This little book wisely and warmly offers ""a philosophy of wedding planning, loosely based on... Zen Buddhism."" The basic rule, says MacNeal, is to stay in the present moment and not obsess about the future, ""giving up the illusion of control."" Staying in the present moment also means truly enjoying the engagement without dreaming unduly about the ""perfect"" wedding day, and then being frustrated or disappointed with things (and people) as they are. While the book draws upon Buddhism broadly defined, MacNeal applies specific Buddhist precepts successfully and creatively to the particular preoccupations of a bride planning her wedding. For example, women hoping to shed pounds before the big event are encouraged to adopt ""the middle weigh,"" emphasizing mindfulness and moderation in both eating and exercise; brides can make wedding decisions using the ""right effort"" provision of the Eightfold Path. With MacNeal's sensible and witty advice and artist Rachell Sumpter's hip, arresting illustrations, this small book will make a perfect gift for the bride in the lotus.